Monday, September 6, 2010

How Slow Can You Go?

Anyone who has been following FFF knows that I'm an advocate of slow feeding for horses. This means that long stem forage (i.e. hay) is offered by such means that it takes the horse a long time to get through a couple of flakes, thereby better simulating the act of natural grazing in semi-arid landscapes. Not only do I believe that it is healthier for the gut of the horse, but healthier for the mind as well. When a meal takes a couple of hours to eat the horses don't get bored and they don't start looking around for trouble.

We've been through several slow-feeding iterations over the past three years, and I've finally found the ultimate solution. Feeder 3.0 was a Behlan Country galvanized feeder lined with grid wire panels from an exercise pen.  I was pretty happy with it, but there was still more wastage than I wanted.  When we got back from Tasmania I pulled out the panels in both feeders and replaced them with hockey nets (how Canadian, eh?).  Bingo.  The 1.25" openings make the horses work hard for their hay, and also reduce wastage to a record minimum.  Without further ado, I present Feeder 4.0:

4 comments:

Breathe said...

Very impressive. I suspect it would be tough for us to get hockey nets down here in Texas, but it's worth a try!

EvenSong said...

It's interesting, dp, the evolution of your feeders. One of mine (the first) has 3 1/2 inch squares, which are way to big, but I only use it now for the old guy who gets all he wants. The one the girls will share this winter is build against the 2X4" mesh fence--it works better for the piglets.

oregonsunshine said...

Very nice! I need something like that here now. Going to start with hay nets and go from there.

Andrea said...

I think I DEF need to make one of these for Gogo the Hogmare.